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At the turn of the millennium, the crisis of sexual abuse changed the societal landscape, first disclosed in the western and English-speaking world and found to be problematic everywhere. A growing awareness of its epic proportions – from the recognition in the 1970s of the prevalence and lasting harm of incest to the uncovering of sexual abuse by clergy to the #metoo movement’s spotlight on abuse in various sectors – has called attention to the suffering of victims. Although sexual abuse is not exclusively an internal matter of the Church, this book limits its scope to the abuse that happened to children and young people within the context of the Catholic Church. The Church has to respond to the many questions raised by this terrible reality; its leaders and all faithful have to put victims first and proactively engage in safeguarding minors in the present and the future.


Pope Francis

Address at the Meeting with Victims of Sexual Abuse in Philadelphia, USA (27 September 2015)
Motu Proprio Come una madre amorevole (As a LovingMother, 4 June 2016)
Letter to the Bishops of Chile following the Report of Archbishop Scicluna (8 April 2018)
Letter to the People of God in Chile (31 May 2018)
Letter to the People of God (20 August 2018)
Christmas Greetings to the Roman Curia (21 December 2018)
Letter to the Bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (1 January 2019)
Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See (7 January 2019)
Meeting “The Protection of Minors in the Church”: Introduction (21 February 2019)
Meeting “The Protection of Minors in the Church”: Intervention after hearing the report by Dr. Linda Ghisoni (22 February 2019)
Meeting “The Protection of Minors in the Church”: Address at the End of the Eucharistic Celebration (24 February 2019)
Apostolic Letter in the Form of Motu Proprio “Vos estis lux mundi” (9 May 2019)
Instruction On the Confidentiality of Legal Proceedings (17 December 2019)

Pope Benedict XVI

Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland (19 March 2010)
Norms concerning the more grave delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (21 May 2010)

Pope John Paul II

Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela (30 August 2001)
Address to the Cardinals of the United States (23 April 2002)
Extracts of addresses to US bishops on their Ad Limina visits (2004)